Podcast: Richard Waring, Charleston Chamber
Richard Waring, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, is our special guest on the show this week. Waring is a 2012 graduate at Charleston School of Law.
Waring never practiced law in the traditional sense – law school, bar exam, then attorney; then again, it was never his goal. He pursued his legal education to establish a foundation for a greater vision.
“I’m a Charleston native,” said Waring. “I grew up in a really small town outside of John’s Island called Red Top. So, I have a different view and vision of what a community is. We all grew up together. We all shared good times together. We shared our bad times. I started to see some things in smaller communities as I matured and became a part of the workforce, I saw some of the inequities and I wanted to put myself in a place where I could do something for the people in my community — to be a voice … I thought that a non-traditional course of education could get me to a point or I could be that voice where I could be an advocate for the people.”
Along his professional journey, Waring started hearing a phrase that intrigued him: Economic development.
“I boil it down to access — access to healthcare, access to education, access to affordable housing, access to a job that pays a living wage,” he said. “When I looked back at the life of my mother. She’s 81 years old and lives in Red Top. When she was 12 years old her mother became ill with cancer and, because of a lack of access, my mother had to stop school in the seventh grade to become a caretaker for her mother. Life went on.
“She never did get the opportunity to go back to school. She started a family and she became a single mother of five children and took care of us with the seventh grade education.”
Waring called his mother “one of the smartest people that I know, just naturally,. She can walk into any room and held a conversation with anybody.”
But lack of access and opportunity bothered Waring. He began seeing it as his calling, to serve others, educate and create opportunities for families and small communities.
“She never got the opportunity to do some of the things that she said she wanted to do in life, and that I knew that if she could have, things could have been a little bit different. Now, to step into her shoes, to some extent and further her dream and realize that she wanted to serve, she wanted to help. This is where my love for the Charleston School of Law and the love from my mother intersect because they gave me vision and it allows me to do what I do now.”
CHARLESTON SCHOOL OF LAW QUICK FACTS
The Charleston School of Law is an ABA-accredited law school nationally recognized for its student-centric culture. Our faculty and staff are committed to preparing you for success both in the classroom and in the legal profession.
- The Princeton Review ranks Charleston School of Law professors second in the country for faculty accessibility (2021)
- Charleston School of Law faculty ranked among the top of The Princeton Review’s list of Best Professors in the nation (2016-2018)
- Experiential Learning: Charleston School of Law students have access to about more than 150 externship sites, creating opportunities for experiential learning in the legal field.
- Community Service: Charleston School of Law students have performed more than 241,000 community service hours (2004-current).
- Students have won the National Tax Moot Court Championship for seven consecutive years (2012-2018)
Related stories from the Charleston School of Law
The following was originally published by the South Carolina chapter for the Association of Corporate Counsel.